Is Massage Safe During Pregnancy?

Category: Health Posted: 03 Jul 2018

Posted: 03 Jul 2018

back massage during pregnancy

Whether pregnant or not, at some stage we all feel like we need some help to reduce stress that we are suffering and to alleviate specific aches and pains in our bodies. During pregnancy, unsurprisingly, it is even more common to feel this desire.

 

Pains during pregnancy


Probably the most common of the pains suffered by women during pregnancy is lower back pain. When you consider that a typical pregnant woman’s belly may expand by 10 Kg to 16 Kg over the course of the pregnancy, the common complaint of increasing lower back pain it is not at all surprising. Providing a comfortable and safe home for a growing baby is by no means easy! You know that large bag of Waitrose potatoes that you occasionally drag off the shelf and let drop with a thud into your shopping trolley? Well, during your pregnancy you will be adding the equivalent of up to as many as 8 (yes, EIGHT!) of those full bags of potatoes directly around your belly! 


Many women also experience the “3 H’s” at some stage during their pregnancy: headaches, heartburn and haemorrhoids.


So with all these potential aches and pains, not forgetting the additional stress that being pregnant can bring, can a back massage help and is it safe? Let’s deal with safety first.

 

Is it safe to get a massage while pregnant?


The NHS provides some useful safety advice on the use (or otherwise) of complementary therapies in general during pregnancy. Some complementary therapies are not recommended and the jury is out on others, but the NHS does specifically state that there is indeed evidence to support the use of massage and aromatherapy for treating anxiety.


So the good news is: Yes, massage can be safely offered during pregnancy and can help with anxiety and stress! Regular massage during pregnancy can also provide the feeling of comfort and relief towards pain.


In accordance with generally accepted medical advice, we only accept bookings for pregnancy massage once you are confirmed as over 12 weeks pregnant. We do not recommend or carry out any type of massage on pregnant women during the first three months of pregnancy.


We work with massage therapists who are specifically trained in Pregnancy Massage. If you are pregnant and over 12 weeks, please select Pregnancy Massage from the treatment styles offered in our online booking system and then our specially trained therapist who cover your area will be shown.

 

Does massage help pregnancy aches pains?


There is no confirmed scientific evidence that massage or other complementary therapies remove pregnancy related aches and pains. However your own common sense and life experiences will no doubt already have made you aware that at any time when we are suffering pain, a soothing hand from another caring human being can bring much needed care and comfort. Our therapists are specifically selected on their ability to provide great massage and also on being empathetic individuals. Showing empathy whilst massaging is always important and never more so if your customer is feel vulnerable or less confident than usual. Massage with bundles of empathy is what we like to call Real Massage. It is this latter quality which we believe can reap real rewards when receiving a pregnancy massage from The Massage Rooms.

 

Why are massages bad during first trimester?


Although it is generally recommended that you only receive massage therapy after the first 12 weeks of your pregnancy, there is actually no evidence that massage in itself is unsafe even during that early period. The reason that most therapists, including ours, will not perform massages on any pregnant woman in her first trimester is simply that this is the period when the risk of miscarriage is at its highest for any pregnancy. 

 

Are deep tissue massages safe during pregnancy?


After the first trimester has passed you could safely receive a wide range of different massage styles as long as they are applied with the appropriate consideration of your condition. For example, elements of a typical deep tissue treatment are fine to receive in certain areas of your body but some areas should be avoided during pregnancy. Pregnancy Massage therapists are trained and qualified in pre-natal massage and will therefore assess and provide the appropriate advice on a case by case basis. If you are ever in any doubt about the safety of any treatment you are considering, it is always a good idea to also check with your midwife or doctor in advance.

 

Can a massage cause a miscarriage or induce labour?


Medical experts agree that after the first trimester has passed, massage carried out in accordance by a trained pre-natal specialist is safe. In foot reflexology, the feet are divided into zones which correspond to various organs in the body. The uterus and ovaries are on the ankles and some people believe that pressure on these parts of the feet could have a consequential effect on the corresponding organs. It is important to note that there is no scientific evidence at all which confirms this belief, but for the sake of peace of mind, if you feel at all uncomfortable by this belief, simply ask your pre-natal massage therapist not to massage your feet and the ankle area.